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Metal Strength

Strength is a fundamental characteristic to make in order to decide which metal best suits the job. Strength can change from metal to metal and from application to application. There are some different measures of strength to think about when evaluating metal material options.

You can see below some of the different ways metal strength is measured:

  • Tensile Strength

It’s the maximum amount of stretching or pulling a metal can withstand before it fails or is permanently damaged. Essentially, tensile strength is the measure of how much tension the metal can resist. It serves as a good point of reference for how a metal part will perform in an application.

There are three different types of tensile strength:

Yield strength is the stress point at which metal begins to deform plastically*

Ultimate strength describes the maximum amount of stress a metal can endure.

Breakable strength is the stress coordinate on the stress-strain curve at the point of failure.

* Plasticity is the capacity of a material deform while it undergoes permanent changes as a result of applied forces. In Metal Forming, bending is known as an applied forces.

  • Impact Strength

Impact strength is a measure of how much impact or suddenly applied force a metal can resist before it breaks. The impact load and the limit that the metal can withstand are both expressed in terms of energy. So, essentially, impact strength measures the amount of energy that a metal can absorb before it fractures.

  • Compressible Strength

Compressible strength or compression strength is the capacity of a material or structure to withstand loads tending to reduce size, as opposed to tensile strength, which withstands loads tending to elongate. In other words, compressible strength resists compression (being pushed together), whereas tensile strength resists tension (being pulled apart). In the study of strength of materials, tensile strength, compressible strength, and shear strength can be analyzed independently.

Some materials fracture at their compressible strength limit; others deform irreversibly, so a given amount of deformation may be considered as the limit for compressible load. Compressible strength is a key value for design of structures.

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